The journey through Nevada’s desert, heading toward the bright lights and mega hotels of Las Vegas, can provide its own sense of adventure, a travellers’ simultaneous experience of freedom through mobility and the solitude of the open road, a feeling that bonds driver to car and brings into sharp focus the channels of connectivity to the outside world.
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Kia Motors America (KMA) brings a collection of new and future technologies highlighting telematics and infotainment, each focused on creating a safer, more dynamic and efficient driving experience, with an eye on the expanding horizon of connected cars.
The cornerstone of these new technologies is Kia’s UVO system, which serves as the catalyst for connectivity between driver and car. As a design leader, Kia will also feature the North American debut of its KND-7 concept car powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and boasting head-turning, futuristic interior and exterior styling.
“With UVO, Kia has a strong base to build from in the advancement of telematics and infotainment technology, pushing the boundaries of connectivity and convenience while maintaining safety as a top priority,” said Henry Bzeih, chief technology strategist, KMA. “Kia’s teams are constantly looking for new and better ways to strengthen the relationship between driver and car. Our real-world approach to in-car technology, coupled with compelling design and premium amenities has the Kia brand moving in new and exciting directions.”
User-centred Driver Concept (UCD)
The UCD concept focuses on safety and an intuitive interface with an innovative multi-sensory design. Keeping the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel is central to Kia’s approach to in-vehicle technology, as evidenced by the UVO system.
The UCD concept remains true to this principle while enhancing functionality, providing a widescreen, 18-inch Head-Up Display (HUD), which offers drivers an augmented-reality snapshot of vital information such as speed, navigation and traffic information. Additionally, the 12.3-inch TFT-LCD cluster presents a 3D view of vital vehicle information, utilizing eye-tracking technology to maintain a clear view from various angles.
Developed to allow full use of the vehicle’s navigation services and other driver-controlled operations without sacrificing safety, the UCD concept also includes a hand-gesture controller. Thanks to advanced infrared light and camera sensors, users can quickly access radio and navigation options with simple hand or finger movements without taking their eyes from the road.
The UCD concept also includes a mobile device wireless charging system. The system’s power is delivered through magnetic induction, which allows the driver to simply set the device on the charging pad without the inconvenience of charging cords.
In-vehicle Infotainment Concept (IVI)
Kia has developed and delivered cutting-edge and user-friendly infotainment technologies for many recent vehicle releases, including the all-new 2014 Soul.
At this year’s CES, the eye-catching IVI Concept provides a look at Kia’s latest innovations in the area of in-vehicle services.
The seamless delivery of content is achieved by a multi-display layout, prominently featuring a 20-inch multi-touch centre console display. Information is then synchronized through a portable plug-in tablet or the driver’s own smartphone, providing easy access to a suite of services such as concierge, social networking and parking assist.
Innovative advancements in music-delivery technology are found in the IVI Concept’s “Smart Radio” functions, including the ability to personalise playlists according to the user’s mood or based on five templates for different driving environments, such as summer driving on a coastal road, all delivered via Kia’s proprietary music service.
The development of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication is demonstrated in the IVI Concept as a series of real-world scenarios. Visual and auditory alerts of drive-route hazards and real-time warnings for potential danger such as a frontal collision and lane departure, as well as current intersection conditions, provide peace of mind for driver and passengers.
Dynamic HD wireless (WiHD) technology enables and optimizes connectivity of these various components, including front-seat display and two independently functioning rear-seat entertainment units. This “mirroring” technology allows passengers to enjoy their own music and video experiences while vital information, such as pre-programmed smartphone navigation notifications, is simultaneously provided to the driver.
UVO for EV (electric vehicle)
In anticipation of the launch later this year of Kia’s first all-electric vehicle in the U.S. market, the Kia CES display also highlights the enhanced capabilities of Kia’s UVO EV smartphone app with telematics functionality specifically designed for electric vehicles.
This unique interactive exhibit, which points to the next production-ready version of the UVO telematics system, provides up-to-the-minute battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the downloadable smartphone app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of HVAC presets.
The Future of UVO
At the heart of Kia’s telematics and infotainment innovations is UVO VR (Voice Recognition) technology.
Powering the next generation Kia telematics, this Hybrid VR platform enables users to easily and efficiently perform functions such as dictating messages, selecting their favourite music or asking for directions, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
As soon as next year, some 2015 model year Kia vehicles will arrive with an all-new generation of multimedia suite, including the ability to download additional apps such as the music service, iHeart Radio.
The addition of the Sound Hound music recognition app will take in-car music engagement to the next level, and the integration of YelpÂ® will help Kia owners locate the hottest restaurants and best clubs. Kia’s own UVO-based app store will allow owners to customise their infotainment and telematics experience.
Today and Tomorrow – Kia’s Advanced Technology
Presented as a cross-sectional vehicle display, Kia proudly showcases current and future technology in engaging, interactive style. Featured are 24 different technologies, 10 of which are integrated in current production vehicles such as the recently unveiled K900 rear-drive flagship sedan, including Smart Cruise Control and Around View Monitoring systems.
In addition to the display, detailed video demonstrations of each technological component provide an opportunity to learn more about the projects currently being developed by Kia’s global R&D teams, including advancements in Eco-friendly and multimedia technology such as wireless charging and a water-cooled battery system.
Kia KND-7 Vehicle Concept
The KND-7 compact four-door coupe display makes its North American debut at this year’s CES. Designed at the Kia studio in Seoul and under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the KND-7 is less than four meters long, has rearward-opening rear doors and an ‘access-all-areas’ interior concept without traditional B-pillars, providing excellent access to the luxuriously trimmed cabin.
The exterior styling of the KND-7 is both sleek and small, with a cheerful face and a daring character. Design features created or the 2007 Kia Kee 2+2 concept are revisited in a new form. The KND-7’s nose has a broad wrap-around ‘mouth,’ and there is a ‘dip’ in the top of the windshield – a design element that is featured on Optima, Sportage and the Cadenza premium sedan. The latest interpretation of Kia’s signature grille is a shallower design and incorporates the turbocharger’s air intake.
The KND-7 powertrain features a 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) turbocharged engine producing 150kW for a powerfully efficient driving experience.